Taken in 1951 during an expedition to the Himalayas, the photographs show suspiciously large footprints in the snow.
The brooch, depicting the Argentinean flag, will top the 400-lot sale in New York next month.
The auction, which takes place in New York on October 15, will offer a ‘Mystery-Set’ sapphire, diamond and coloured diamond Argentine flag brooch once belonging to Eva Perón, former First Lady of Argentina.
Perón, known affectionately as Evita, was a champion of the working class and women’s suffrage in Argentina during the late 1940s/early 1950s. Described at the ‘Spiritual Leader of the Nation’ by the Argentine Congress, she died tragically from cancer in 1952 at the age of just 33.
Eva Perón’s legacy remains strong in Argentina, and she became an iconic cultural figure due to the popular 1976 musical ‘Evita’ which documented her life and political struggles.
The brooch was presented to Mrs. Perón before 1949 and depicts the Argentinean flag, known as the Sun of May, with blue sapphires, white diamonds and a yellow diamond representing the sunburst in the centre.
It last appeared at auction in April 1998, where it sold after fierce bidding for $992,500, and will be offered with an estimate of $300,000-$500,000.
The auction will also include a trio of high-quality coloured diamonds, and jewellery from two important collections: those of Newport, Rhode Island patron The Honorable Noreen Stonor Drexel, and San Francisco society dame Diana Dollar Knowles.
In total, the two-session sale will feature 400 lots and is expected to bring in the region of $40 million.
“It was an unprecedented season for Christie’s this spring, having achieved three world record breaking diamond sales in New York, Geneva and Hong Kong,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas and Switzerland.
“For the first major fall sale in New York, our team of jewelry specialists have traveled the globe to gather the finest quality diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and rare vintage jewels from notable estates and private collections. In anticipation of a continued strong market, we look forward to offering collectors the best in the world of jewelry auctions.”
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